'Monstrous' Ghislaine Maxwell should get up to 55 YEARS in prison for her role in trafficking underage girls who she viewed as 'objects who could be manipulated' for her and Jeffrey Epstein, prosecutors say
- Prosecutors have asked that Ghislaine Maxwell spend at least 30 years in prison
- Maxwell was convicted of helping Jeffrey Epstein recruit, abuse girls for years
- The 60-year-old blamed her behavior on him and her deceased father
- Federal prosecutors asked a judge on Wednesday night to sentence her to at least 30 years in prison
- Maxwell will be sentenced on Tuesday and could spend much of the rest of her life in prison
- She was convicted in December on five of the six counts she faced, including sex trafficking, after a monthlong trial
- Witnesses testified she helped Epstein recruit, groom and abuse underage girls
- Maxwell's lawyers have asked the judge to impose a sentence shorter than the 20 years that the court's probation department had recommended
Ghislaine Maxwell should spend up to 55 years in prison for her role in the sexual abuse of underage girls because her conduct was 'monstrous', prosecutors said in a court filing.
The disgraced socialite should be jailed for between 30 and 55 years because of her 'shockingly predatory' behavior recruiting teenagers for the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
In a recommendation to the judge who will sentence Maxwell in New York on Tuesday, prosecutors said that Maxwell 'viewed the victims as objects who could be manipulated for her and Epstein’s own selfish purposes.'
The prosecutors dismissed Maxwell's complaints about her conditions in prison as bleating from somebody used to a life of luxury and privilege.
In a blistering, 55-page memo they scathingly wrote: 'Going from being waited on hand and foot to incarceration is undoubtedly a shocking and unpleasant experience.'
Maxwell, 60, was convicted on five out of six charges in December, including sex trafficking of a minor - the youngest victim a 14-year-old girl - transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and three related counts of conspiracy.
The month-long trial featured testimony from four women who said they were abused in their teens.
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell should spend at least 30 years in prison for her role in the sexual abuse of teenage girls over a 10-year period by her onetime boyfriend, financier Jeffrey Epstein, prosecutors said Wednesday in written arguments
This sketch shows the moment Maxwell was convicted of five of the six counts she faced in December 2021. She will be sentenced next week on June 28
Maxwell has requested a more lenient sentence of just four years and three months in jail, arguing that she is being scapegoated as a proxy for Epstein's crimes.
Her legal filings claimed that helping launch the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) demonstrated she has a 'desire to do good in the world'.
Defense lawyers said in a sentencing submission last week that she should spend no more than five years in prison.
The filing states: 'Ms. Maxwell has always worked hard. Her many educational, occupational, and avocational accomplishments include becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), a helicopter pilot, a submersible pilot, a banker; partnering with the Cleveland Clinic to establish a telemedicine platform to enable people in remote areas to obtain quality medical treatment; helping develop the Clinton Global Initiative; and supporting a variety non-profit and charitable organizations'.
In a later section the document states that Maxwell is not an 'heiress, villain, or vapid socialite'.
But prosecutors said Maxwell played an 'instrumental role in the horrific sexual abuse of multiple young teenage girls' between 1994 and 2004 at some of Epstein's palatial residences. They called her crimes 'monstrous.'
'As part of a disturbing agreement with Jeffrey Epstein, Maxwell identified, groomed, and abused multiple victims, while she enjoyed a life of extraordinary luxury and privilege. In her wake, Maxwell left her victims permanently scarred with emotional and psychological injuries,' prosecutors wrote.
'That damage can never be undone, but it can be accounted for in crafting a just sentence for Maxwell´s crimes,' they added.
'It appears that the defendant viewed the victims as objects who could be manipulated for her and Epstein’s own selfish purposes without any regard for their personal wellbeing, health, or safety.”
'The Defendant’s Role in the Conspiracy Maxwell’s conduct was shockingly predatory. She was a calculating, sophisticated, and dangerous criminal who preyed on vulnerable young girls and groomed them for sexual abuse'.
An undated Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at the Queen's log cabin at Glen Beg, Balmoral. Maxwell faces a maximum of 55 years in jail for her part in Jeffrey Epstein's crimes, but the prosecution are pushing for only 20 years
A photo from 2002 on the Africa trip shows Clinton standing on the steps of Epstein's plane with his arm on the shoulder of a smiling Maxwell. Clinton flew on Epstein's jet dozens of times including trips to Africa and Asia after he left office
Prosecutors also urged the judge to reject Maxwell's pleas for leniency on the grounds that she has suffered in extraordinary ways in jail while awaiting trial and afterward.
Defense lawyers said she has faced death threats and harsh conditions that have caused her to lose hair and weight.
The disgraced socialite has been held in solitary confinement in Brooklyn's Metropolitan detention center since July 2020, where guards told her 'there was concern she could be shot by a sniper'.
'While in isolation, a high-ranking prison guard told Ms. Maxwell that there was concern that she would be shot by a sniper. Putting aside the reason and propriety of dispensing this alarming information, the diminution of security concerns resulting in her transfer to general population appears correlated to Ms. Maxwell having been sufficiently safeguarded to fill Epstein's empty seat,' her lawyers stated.
Maxwell's attorneys claim that she was recently threatened by an inmate in general population, alleging that she said the extra 20 years in prison would be 'worth the money' if she killed Jeffrey Epstein's lover.
Her attorneys also argue she is subject to multiple pat-downs a day where she alleges 'to have been touched in a sexually inappropriate manner by correction officers' several times.
'The defendant has enjoyed remarkable privileges as a high-profile inmate that vastly exceed the benefits accorded to the average inmate,' prosecutors said.
'It is unsurprising that a woman who had led a life of incredible luxury should complain about her life as a prisoner, but that fact does not come close to meriting leniency at sentencing, much less the extraordinary degree of leniency the defendant seeks.'
Maxwell's legal team wrote a filing to the court saying that the alleged sexual abuse suffered by Ms Ransome at the hands of Epstein and Maxwell (left) falls outside of the time period for offences covered by the trial
They also cited what they described as Maxwell's 'complete failure to address her offense conduct and her utter lack of remorse. Instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility, the defendant makes a desperate attempt to cast blame wherever else she can.'
Maxwell's efforts to cast aspersions on the motives of the government for prosecuting her and her claim that she is being held responsible for Epstein's crimes are 'absurd and offensive,' prosecutors said.
'Maxwell was an adult who made her own choices. She made the choice to sexually exploit numerous underage girls. She made the choice to conspire with Epstein for years, working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims,' they said.
'At bottom, the defendant’s complaints about jail seem to come down to the vast gulf between the conditions of her confinement and the defendant’s lived experience up until her arrest and detention on July 2, 2020.
'Until July 2020, the defendant spent her entire life living in extraordinary luxury. Her childhood and adolescence were filled with wealth and privilege. That access to wealth continued into adulthood when the defendant found a benefactor in Epstein, who provided her with millions of dollars and invited her to share in his luxurious lifestyle of mansions, house staff, private chefs, and private planes. After leaving that relationship, the defendant remained exceptionally wealthy, residing in palatial estates and owning multiple homes. It is no wonder, then, that she found jail jarring.
'Going from being waited on hand and foot to incarceration is undoubtedly a shocking and unpleasant experience.'
Ghislaine (back center) is seen with members of her family in the 1980s. Her father Robert is pictured back row second from left
Ghislaine Maxwell grew up at Headington Hill Hall, a 51-room English country mansion where politicians, business leaders and newspaper editors attended lavish parties punctuated by trumpeters and fireworks. BBC images from the time show Ghislaine as a child with a kid-size plate of food, circling in a party dress, learning how to be a master networker.
Her father, born Jan Ludvik Hoch, was one of nine children of Yiddish-speaking parents in a village in what is now southwestern Ukraine. Escaping the Holocaust, he ultimately joined the British Army, rising to the rank of captain and transforming himself into Robert Maxwell.
After the war, Maxwell built on his military connections to buy the rights to German scientific journals, the beginnings of a publishing empire that ultimately included the Daily Mirror, one of Britain´s biggest tabloid newspapers, as well as the New York Daily News and the book publisher Macmillan.
Along the way he married, fathered nine children and was twice elected to Parliament. He also earned a reputation for boorish behavior and bullying subordinates.
Ghislaine was close to her father, Robert Maxwell, prior to his untimely death in 1991. The pair are pictured together in 1990
Ghislaine was Maxwell's youngest child, born on Christmas Day 1961. Her brother Michael was severely brain damaged in a car accident just days later at age 15, although he lived for another seven years.
Her mother, Elisabeth Maxwell, wrote in her memoir that she and Robert were so focused on their injured son that their baby daughter was overlooked. So neglected was Ghislaine that at the age of 3 she stood in front of her mother and said, 'Mummy, I exist!'
'I was devastated,´ Elisabeth Maxwell wrote in A Mind of My Own: My Life with Robert Maxwell. 'And from that day on, we all made a great effort with her, fussing over her so much that she became spoiled, the only one of my children I can truly say that about.´
While studying history at the University of Oxford in the early 1980s, Ghislaine Maxwell began building contacts of her own, including Prince Andrew, who would later invite her and Epstein to Windsor Castle and Sandringham, Queen Elizabeth II´s country estate.
Robert Maxwell was a prominent newspaper publisher whose body was found in the waters near his yacht, Lady Ghislaine, on November 5, 1991. Crews are seen searching for the magnate after his disappearance
Ghislaine Maxwell's family have slammed the 'bizarre and cruel' US legal system for subjecting her to 'brutal and degrading' treatment in jail. Pictured: Ghislaine Maxwell with brother Ian (right), father Robert and mother Elizabeth (far left)
After graduating, she worked for her father in a variety of roles. In 1991, at age 29, she became his U.S. emissary after he bought the Daily News amid efforts to compete with fellow media tycoon - and New York Post owner - Rupert Murdoch.
Later that year, Robert Maxwell fell off his yacht - the Lady Ghislaine - in the Canary Islands and died in what some saw as an accident and others a suicide. Investors would discover his wealth was an illusion: He had diverted hundreds of millions of pounds from his companies´ pension funds to prop up his empire.
Soon after her father's death, Ghislaine Maxwell was photographed sitting next to Epstein during a memorial at the Plaza Hotel.
John Sweeney, a longtime U.K. journalist and creator of the podcast 'Hunting Ghislaine,' told the AP he believes that 'after the monster her father died, she found a second monster.'
'Robert Maxwell stole hundreds of millions of pounds from people who were dependent upon his good word; Jeffrey Epstein turned out to be a darker figure, a worse human being,' Sweeney said.
Ian Maxwell said his sister's relationship with Epstein developed after the family advised her to remain in the U.S. because the Maxwell name was 'in the dirt' at home. Amid the family's reputational and financial woes, she had to make her own way in New York and forge new friendships, he said.
One of those was with Epstein, a onetime teacher who built his own fortune on the back of contacts like the former CEO of the parent company of lingerie retailer Victoria´s Secret.
In sworn testimony for an earlier civil case, Ghislaine Maxwell acknowledged that she had a romantic relationship with Epstein but said she later became his employee, tasked with things like hiring staff for his six homes.
In her trial, prosecutors focused on four women who say they were recruited by Maxwell as teenagers to be abused by Jeffrey Epstein (pictured in 2004)
'I hired assistants, architects, decorators, cooks, cleaners, gardeners, pool people, pilots. I hired all sorts of people,´´ Maxwell said during a deposition in April 2016. 'A very small part of my job was to find adult professional massage therapists for Jeffrey. As far as I´m concerned, everyone who came to his house was an adult professional person.'
But in 2005, Epstein was arrested in Palm Beach, Florida, and accused of hiring multiple underage girls - many students at a local high school - to perform sex acts. He pleaded guilty to a charge of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and served 13 months in jail.
Years of civil litigation followed, in which women accused Epstein and Maxwell of sexual abuse. Prosecutors in New York revived the case and charged Epstein with sex trafficking in 2019, but he killed himself in jail before he could face trial.
Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages, but served just 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal.
Ghislaine Maxwell has remained mostly silent about the Epstein allegations over nearly two decades, but in a 2016 deposition in a civil case, she said she learned about the allegations against him 'like everybody else, like the rest of the world, when it was announced in the papers.´´
She said she never saw Epstein getting massages from anyone under 18 and that no one ever complained to her that Epstein demanded sex.
'Never,' she declared.